Decline and Fall
Anarchic, stylish and hilarious, Decline and Fall is Evelyn Waugh’s first, most perfect novel. James Wood’s dazzling three part adaptation for BBC Two stars Jack Whitehall as Paul Pennyfeather; an inoffensive divinity student of Oxford University who is wrongly dismissed for indecent exposure after he is made the victim of a prank by the riotous Bollinger Club.
Forced to go the way of every scholar sent down for indecent behaviour, Pennyfeather finds himself teaching at the failing, dysfunctional Llanabba Castle school where he quickly becomes a perpetual victim of circumstance. Pennyfeather goes from content scholar to a whisky- sodden teacher, celebrity bridegroom, a wanted fugitive, and an international white slave-trader, but always – indubitably – a victim of comic misfortune.
The never before televised novel marks 50 years since Waugh’s death.